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Gombe governor accuses Dakwambo of reckless spending
By Sola Shittu, Gombe
Former Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dakwambo was on Thursday accused of running a financially reckless administration that lacked accountability.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya made the allegation while announcing the discovery of 2557 accounts linked to the state government.
He spoke at the opening of a one-day workshop on Treasury Single Account (TSA) on Cash Management Strategy for Chief Accounting and Paying Officers and Heads of MDAs/Higher institutions in the state.
The governor said the discovery showed the enormity of the financial indiscipline and opacity bequeathed to his administration.
He said: “The exercise has no doubt recorded tremendous successes. A total of 2,292 accounts linked to the state government were captured by the NIBSS and additional 265 hidden accounts were discovered. The sum of N1.48 billion was discovered from 860 accounts that were hitherto dormant or undisclosed. The 586 dormant accounts were closed after generating their annual account statements for proper reconciliation and documentation. This shows the enormity of the financial indiscipline and opacity inherited by our administration.”
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According to the governor, with the present situation, the state has no option but to either reform or go under.
“It is either we reform or we perish; Gombe state gets about N3.5 billion as statutory allocation. We are hovering between N200 million and N400 million Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). The water board alone on the average is taking about N400 million monthly. N1.35 billion goes to the civil service, who are only about 67, 000 in the state out of the population of merely 3.5 million people.
He said the workshop is aimed at equipping the accounting and paying officers and chief executives of tertiary institutions with the relevant skills and techniques in order to meet the demands of the new TSA regime adding that the state government TSA policy is geared towards the promotion of sound financial discipline and entrenching a culture of accountability and transparency in governance.
Yahaya said: “It is worthy of note that on our coming to office on May 2019, we met the State finances in a delicate situation, characterised by high debt burden, wastefulness and lack of accountability.
“Since then, our administration has taken bold and calculated decisions towards putting the State on the path of financial prudence and accountability. The introduction and enforcement of the State Treasury Single Account (TSA) is one of them.
“In order to ensure successful implementation of the TSA, we set up a standing committee under the chairmanship of the Deputy Governor. I also signed an Executive Order No. 005 of 2020 to further strengthen the implementation and enforcement of the TSA.”
The governor stated he approved the workshop to foster efficient management of cash resources.
This according to him, will enhance budget performance by preventing costly budget overruns that negatively affect the implementation of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
He said: “Our administration does not see budget as mere figures, but as a tool of governance where expenditure must be carefully planned and backed by revenue, allowing us to meet our budget expectations.
“There will be no development without the requisite resources to help implement our development agenda. That is why our administration is focused on mobilizing resources to finance the execution of projects and programs that will impact positively on the lives of our people.
“The implementation of the TSA is the first step towards achieving this. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to devastating economic consequences globally. To navigate this, States must develop innovative ways of saving cost, improving efficiencies and eliminating wastage.
“This requires the highest level of competence and professionalism from our accounting officers. It is my hope that this workshop will arm you with the required skills and strategies to ensure prudent and transparent management of state resources.”
He said the workshop was designed to bring relevant stakeholders on board the TSA policy, adding that the participants are carefully chosen, comprising key accounting and paying officers from all MDAs as well as our tertiary institutions.
Yahaya said: “The success of the TSA depends on your ability and willingness to buy in to the new policy. I call on the participants to fully participate in the workshop and gain the necessary insights and experience to make this policy a huge success. We will not tolerate any act of negligence, indiscipline or sabotage from anyone no matter how highly-placed.”
On the part of government, the governor said: “We are determined to continue implementing policies that strengthen our institutions and promote the wellbeing of our people.
“Be rest assured that my administration will continue to provide the required support to build the capacity of our civil service in order to enable it meet the demands of 21st century governance.”
Gombe governor accuses Dakwambo of reckless spending